Wednesday, 8 October 2008

#35 – Keep your receipts

Or paper means prizes.

What is tax deductable?
I am not even going to begin to start explaining what is tax deductable and what isn’t. I’m no expert on tax, and the only advice I’m prepared to give on that score is to get an accountant in (see Tip 33).
But I do know that it’s worth holding on to as many receipts as humanly possible.

Tax office audit
First of all, without these receipts, you have no evidence that you have spent the money for work purposes. If the tax office chooses to audit you, you are in big trouble if you don’t have anything to show for the items you’ve claimed as tax deductable.

Costs for freelance travel writers
If you’re travelling a lot, writing a lot and working as a full time freelance travel writer, you will inevitable rack up a lot of costs. And many of these will be tax deductable. Some – such as airfares – obviously are when they’re work related, but there are potentially many other things too.

Keep the receipts
I’m not going to give dodgy advice as to what they are (to be honest, I’ve no real idea when meals, drinks etc count and when they don’t). But I do know that if you keep the receipts and log them, an accountant can tell you which are valid and which are wishful thinking. From experience, you’ll find that a surprising amount are valid, and you can cut your tax bill by a substantial amount.

No receipt = no valid tax deduction
But without the receipts, none of the items that are potentially tax deductable are valid. So, even if it seems a bit silly asking for one after every little transaction, it will be worth it in the long run.

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